1. Pomegranate Mojito
Instead of adding sugar to this classic cocktail, blend the seeds of a large pomegranate in a food processor. Strain the blended seeds with a fine mesh sieve. Add the pomegranate juice to rum and sparkling water.
- 1/3 cup freshly strained pomegranate juice. If you don’t want to deal with the mess, buy a light pomegranate juice from the grocery store.
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1-ounce rum
- 1/2 cup champagne
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish.
In a glass, add the fresh pomegranate juice, lime juice, and rum. Stir well. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Top it off with champagne. Add springs of mint and pomegranate seeds for a festive garnish.
2. A Limey Margarita
A fun drink for the holidays, especially if you plan to pair it with a Latin feast. Skip the sugary syrups and use only the basic ingredients of this cocktail: lime juice, one shot of tequila and triple sec. Avoid the salt, and garnish with lime.
- 1 shot of tequila
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
- A splash of triple sec.
In your favorite margarita glass or in a shaker, measure out all the ingredients. Shake well with ice. Garnish your glass with a refreshing lime wedge.
3. Spin on the Traditional Cosmo
You can make a skinny cosmo by adding a splash of diet cranberry juice and fresh lime juice.
- 1 shot of vodka
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 cup diet cranberry juice
In a shaker, measure out all the ingredients. Shake well. Garnish the glass with a swirling lemon peel.
4. Low-fat Spiced Egg Nog
- 1 1/2 ounces SMIRNOFF Cinna-Sugar Twist Flavored Vodka
- A dash of ground cinnamon, or to taste
- 3 ounces of low-fat eggnog
Add vodka and low-fat eggnog to a shaker. Fill a short glass with ice cubes and pour shaken ingredients into the glass. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and garnish with a whole cinnamon stick or candy cane.
You can also make this holiday favorite dairy-free by options such as Silk Nog (made with soymilk) or So Delicious Coconut Holiday Nog (dairy-free).
5. St. Germain and Champagne
A very easy and classic holiday cocktail using just two ingredients.
- 1/2 part St. Germain
- 1/2 part brut Champagne, sparkling wine, or Rosé
- Mint leaves for garnish
Pour ingredients into a chilled fluted glass and stir lightly. Float fresh mint leaves as a garnish.
6. Low-Calorie Sangria
You don’t want to end up drinking your calories, try this skinny sangria recipe, perfect for any party. It’s easy to make as well.
- 1 Bottle Red Wine
- 1/2 cups of fresh fruit: Sliced strawberries, apple chunks, and blackberries. Be cautious about how many and what types of fruits you add, being mindful of the sugar content.
- Bottle of Sprite Zero
- 1/4 cup Vodka
Add fruit, wine, and vodka to a pitcher and stir. Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight. Mix in Sprite before serving.
Fill glasses with ice, pour the Sangria.
7. Strawberry Basil Sangria
Last but not least, another twist on a festive Sangria recipe, courtsey of Susan Watkins, CDE, RD, who says it will be a sure hit at any party.
- 8-10 strawberries, quartered (and pushed down slightly with a spoon)
- 6 basil leaves, cut into slices
- 1/4 cup light lemonade
- 1/4 cup white rum
- 2 cups red wine (I prefer the box of Franzia Chillable Red)
- Sparkling water (optional)
Combine all ingredients and let marinate for a few hours or overnight. Serve over ice and add sparkling water if desired (for those that prefer it less strong).
Lastly, and most importantly, remember to limit your alcohol consumption for sugar and calories and be sure to discuss your individual dietary needs with your doctor, CDE, or nutritionist before trying anything new in your diet.
Watkins reminds us that alcohol can raise or lower blood glucose levels for those with diabetes. For those on certain diabetes medication or insulin, alcohol tends to have a more lowering effect, she says.
“Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia for up to 24 hours after drinking (especially if drinking larger amounts),” Watkins points out, “so it’s important to check your blood sugar before and after drinking to understand how it affects you.”
Also, she urges people with diabetes to drink with food, not on an empty stomach and aim for drinks with less added sugar.
“If you are going to drink, sip your drink slowly (and have a glass of water for every drink consumed), this can help you enjoy your drink safely.”
Updated by dLife Editors 12/18.
Reviewed by Susan Watkins, CDE, RD 12/18.